The All India Football Federation’s executive panel on Tuesday ratified its league committee’s recommendations to cancel the remaining 28 matches of the I-League in view of the coronavirus-forced lockdown and declare runaway leaders Mohun Bagan as champions. The AIFF also said it is waiting to discuss with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) the feasibility of organising a shorter duration tournament next season with second division clubs for qualification to the Hero I-League 2020-21. “The Executive Committee agreed with conclusions and recommendations of League Committee that this was a force majeure circumstance and the AIFF and all stakeholders must focus on a priority basis on safety and health aspects of players, officials and fans,” the AIFF said in a release.
“In fact, there is still no certainty of when sporting activities including football can be resumed across the country.”
The league committee had on Saturday placed its recommendations in front of the all-powerful executive committee.
As per the latest decisions, the 2019-20 season stays concluded and Mohun Bagan declared the I-League winners for the 2019-20.
The remaining prize money in the league (apart from the champion’s prize) will be equally divided among the remaining 10 participating clubs.
However, there will be no relegation and also no individual prize money for the league season.
“All youth leagues in the current season — the Hero Sub-Junior League, the Hero Junior League, the Hero Elite League, and the U-17 Khelo India Girls League – stay concluded, and will start afresh from 2020-21 season.”
“There will be an extension of the deadline for submission of the requisite documentation for the AIFF Academy Accreditation process after the ongoing lockdown is revoked,” the top body said in the release.
The nationwide lockdown will remain in place till May 3.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, has so far claimed nearly 600 lives while infecting over 18,500 people across the country.